1959 was the year which heralded the opening of the Orient School in Durban but its history goes far back. After a protracted battle with the authorities who at the time obstructed the attempts of the Institute to build a school in what was then regarded as a “white” area, the institute eventually took possession of the site in Centenary Road, Durban on which the school now stands.
The Orient Islamic state-aided Primary and High Schools opened in January 1959, with the two schools on the same campus- a Primary School with an opening enrolment of 570 pupils and a High School opening with 205 learners.
The school was built by the Orient Islamic Educational Institute, a non-profit company established in 1943 for the specific purpose of providing educational facilities for the community whose basic educational needs were neglected by the government of the day.
Despite the many obstacles placed in their way by the prevailing apartheid-style attitude of the Durban Municipality, the founders finally succeeded in securing the present site of the school, adjacent to the historic Curries Fountain Sports ground in the early 1950’s.
The school functioned as a state-aided primary and high school from 1959 until 1997, when the owners decided to establish an independent school on the premises.
This was necessitated by the promulgation of the South African Schools’ Act in 1996 which prescribed that state-aided schools with a distinctive religious ethos (which the Orient Islamic School practiced) could no longer operate as state schools and that the owners had to choose between a state model and an independent model.
Today the school is operated through a non-profit company regulated by its Memorandum of Incorporation (MOI), which provides for the management of the school by a Board of Governors, whilst the Orient Islamic Educational Institute still owns the school campus and retains control of certain fundamental issues relating to the running of the school.
The school has achieved excellent results over the years and in particular in the last seventeen years since it has operated as an independent school, with an average pass rate of 99.5%. Candidates have featured prominently in the Top 10 list in the KZN Senior Certificate examinations over the years. For the past two years, two of our learners were placed amongst the top 5 learners in the Association of Muslim Schools sector in KZN. We are also very proud of the achievements of our alumni, who have made their mark in leadership positions in the academic, professional, entrepreneurial and religious fields both locally and internationally
The school has developed an enviable reputation as a centre of academic excellence, particularly since 1998 when it became an independent school. Orient Islamic School will celebrate its 60th anniversary in 2019.
To be an institution of educational excellence producing well-rounded learners who will be the future leaders of the community and the nation.
The Orient Islamic School is committed to providing a holistic education compatible with Islamic principles and practices to enable our young learners to live harmoniously in our multi-cultural society and contribute to the growth and well-being of the nation as a whole whilst retaining their Islamic identity and commitment to the development of the Ummah.